The UK’s first museum dedicated to computing could be homeless by the summer if it doesn’t find a generous donor with a large, empty building in Swindon going spare. The Museum of Computing currently resides at the University of Bath’s Oakfield campus. However, plans are afoot for the academic bods to up sticks and move on in …
How about Science Museum @ Wroughton
Science Museum have their "big equipment" storage facility at Wroughton just outside Swindon which could be an obvious location ... only issue would be access as its only open on selected weekend and their plans to redevelop into a major museum/education site didn't get Lottery funding.
Also, Bristol isn't far away and given "Silicon Gorge"'s claims to be one of the major centres of hi-tech in Europe you'd hope that it might be the sort of place that would want such a museum. However, we did have an excellent "Industrial Museum" until last year ... but the council has shut that down to redevelop it as a "Museum of Bristol" which sounds as if its going to be full of items on people recollecting that "we had trams when I was a child in Bristol" and other such touchy-feely rubbish ... also the fact that a display promoting the new developments outside the site last year had as one of the major aims of the museum as "having a large and dramatic entrance atrium and shop" gave a hint that its not going to be the same place that it used to be.
for the 'discerning buyer'?
fnar fnar fnar
UK Computer Millionaires
Surely they can tap on the numerous home-grown UK-computer industry millionaires. Oh, there aren't any? OK, what about those lucky gits who managed to sell Bibo to AOL?
Merge the museums?
and end up with a Super Computer Museum with super computers but not necessarily a super-computer.
Having the dubious privilege of stemming from and working in Swinetown, I'd say they've got their work cut out. All the big buildings appear to be steadily turning into apartment blocks or knocked down then turned into themed chav-mungus pubs.
Why's it based in Swindon anyway? If it was important, surely Bletchley would be the place? Not some 2nd rate arse end of nowhere 'big town' who has to borrow University names from 'neighbouring' cities.
...the BBC had already given them a home, last week's Watchdog had a BBC Micro used several times during their seg on fake websites!
no no, don't do it
well as someone unfortunate enough to actually live in swindon (for now) i would strongly recommend you look elsewhere, anywhere other than swindon tbh, i used to think plymouth was the arse end of england, now i know better.
i went to milton keynes the other day and it seemed really nice, in fact everywhere i have been since moving to swindon has seemed really nice now i think about it.
If anyone knows of any redeeming features in the area i'd love to hear about it. I drive past the 'magic roundabout' regularly, and i don't count the railway museum as much of a draw, those are the 2 highlights i'm aware of so far..
Paris, as she is way classier than the chav slappers congregating in swindon.
Old Steam Engines
They could ask if there is a spare engine shed in the old railway works.
A pity the Mechanic's Institute isn't available...
I hope they find somewhere
I really do hope they find somewhere. I visited the museum late last year when they had their Challenge Santa event on along with 'From Pong to Playstaton'. If you're a real nostalgic computer geek then it really is well worth a visit. I was lucky enough to have a look around their back room at some of the pieces which weren't on display and I thought I'd died and gone to retro heaven!
They have everything from the ZX81 upto the Wii and everything inbetween including many of the weird and wonderful machines from the computer boom in the 80's.
I'd say anyone who wants to visit the museum before they either go mobile or shutdown completely should go along to the Ubuntu Demo Day on 26th April from 10am till 4pm (which just happens to be after the release of Ubuntu 8.04). Not only will you get to play with Ubuntu, you can also have a nostalgic trip down memory lane and a bash on a C64, Speccy (Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy) and other greats such as the Atari 800 and much more. They've even gone to the trouble of catering for the wifes/girlfriends/kids who aren't interested in computers.
(Web site is here: http://www.museum-of-computing.org.uk)
$$$ Sale of the Century
Ebay has an excellent storage facility.
$$$ Cash Waiting.
The Collector :)
Theres a nice pink building in west brom lol
You just know if this had been a third-rate Italian knock-off sculpture of a sub-par Roman interpretation of a lost Greek original picked up by the syphilitic elder son of an 18th Century nobleman during a wine, poetry and all-you-can-eat shagging tour of Europe [deep breath]; then the know-nothing likes of Tessa Jowell and the great-and-the-good kleptocracy at the top of the arts world would have willingly blown ten million quid of public money to preserve 'an essential bedrock of British culture'.
Perhaps if we can show that a *BRITISH* BBC Micro was used to formulate the first foetid nugget of totalitarian policy at the Home Office, they'd consider computers to be 'an essential bedrock of British culture'?
I'm happy to get my PSION Organiser I back
I'll keep it safe until a new place has been found (Science Museum?).
And yes, I said "I". Plenty of "II"s, but those "I"s were left over stock and there are none. When PSION moved from Park Royal to Greenford, all old stock got trashed..
The The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park are legends in their own lifetime.
Especially "The Colossus rebuild project, run by Dr Tony Sale. The Colossus is generally acknowledged to be the world's first electronic computer and was developed and operated at Bletchley Park in WWII."
And in the words of the man himself "One of the main reasons for rebuilding it was to prove to the Americans that we built the world's first electronic computer, and they seem to have got the message now". :-)
The guy has basically rebuilt this goliath of a machine, from scratch, using second hand old bits and bobs that BT have cast off during various decommissions and would not otherwise have been available. Truly inspiring gung-ho stuff.
The rest of the Bletchley Park tour is good too. There are a lot of unsung heroes out there.
Where else but...
That's where computers were invented, right?
Or Bletchley Park if MSIM don't want it.
News to me.......
I've lived in Swindon for 17 years, worked in hi-tech, visited Oakfield Campus on numerous occaisions yet I didn't know the Museum existed. No wonder it's looking in vain. It's a shame that some of the beneficiaries from the history of computing (Intel, Fairchild, Nat Semi etc) who have prescence in Swindon can't help out with funding! There's no shortage of empty buildings in Swindon!!!!!
Ask Bill. He's seriously loaded, runs a philanthropic trust looking for worthy causes to endow and has a more than passing interest in the history of computing.
Gotta be worth a short begging letter at least. Offer to lay on a VIP opening event for the new venue with Bill himself as guest of honour to focus his attention (just neglect to mention that it'll be in Swindon).
(Should have a "Bill" icon but, until they get an answer, I can't say which one.)
@W - First BRITISH but not first
Bletchley = Good.
Colussus = Early...but not first.
The Astanoff Berry Computer was pre-Colossus and a little German fellow called Konrad Zuse started his Zuse 1 project in 1936, and completed the Zuse 3 (which actually worked) in 1939 - 4 years before Colossus started churning numbers.
Bletchley still gets my vote though.
Paris as it's the kind of mistake she'd make.
MSI at Manchester
Ideal location, given Manchester's links with the first computer. There's loads of space too.